In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Renovating Weathertop

The observant among you will have noticed that I've been using this Games Workshop hill a lot:
I would never buy an overpriced Games Workshop terrain piece. I actually got it for free because some one's cat had clawed at the flocking. It was pretty simple to repair. But I like it, the jutting stones are suitably dramatic and fit my mental image of New Zealand Middle Earth.

 I do have other hills however. I made these hills many years ago:

As you can see I made them by folding grass paper over expanded polystyrene. The big conical one was the base of Mrs. Rabbitman's and mine wedding cake actually, which gives you an idea of how long I've had it. As you've probably figured out by now, the slopes are way too steep and both hills are rather unusable. So big dramatic hills like Weathertop have so far eluded me.

Ripping the grass paper off and hacking into the slopes would reduce the size of the hills to an unfortunate degree. Fortunately I'm a cheap bastard and didn't throw away these big hunks of foam.

Then I thought "Hang on, how about gluing chunks of off cuts onto the slopes" because again I'm a cheap bastard, and have a couple of boxes of off cuts from my NW Frontier hills.

Like this:

An extended evening of carving and gluing chunks of foam gave me this:

And this:

After sitting for 24 hours I expended a tube of caulking filling in all the cracks, gaps and crevasses. I then liberally scattered the gritty mortar that comes with the bricks over the wet caulk.

In front of the building toy that provides the mortar, arches and curved bricks

The mortar is supposed to be mixed with water so I misted everything with a spray bottle and surprisingly little shook off after they sat and dried for 24 hours. The grit helps the chunks of foam blend into the ground better.

To help the grit stick even more everything got a good coating of watered down burnt umber and then all the rocky bits were liberally splashed with black.

Then I dry brushed tan over the brown and successively lighter shades of grey over the stones.

I suppose I could have stopped here and called it a bit of Mordor?

To flock these big pieces, I painted the glue on in wedges and poured the flock on before it could dry before moving onto the next wedge. 

Flocking in process
After letting the glue dry overnight and then knocking off the excess, it was time to add flower tufts, grass tufts, clump foliage, bits of dried lichen and clumps of long grass to add some variety and interest. I think I used just about everything in my scenic basing stores. I tried to be mindful of where figures would stand and keep those spots clear. One thing I realized with the Army Painter flower tufts is that they peel off in some large irregular shapes which are nice for doing flowers spilling down a hillside or over a rocky edge.

I also did a couple of ancient wells while doing the hills to help set the mood. I'll keep one and give the other to the Mad Padre.

The Well of Tears, Mk. 1 and Mk. 2

Now to see how they look with troops fighting over them:
This looks like a good spot for a heroic stand, as Elven Kings are wont to do.

There is room for a 12 figure unit to squeeze on, honest.

Bit more room on the ridge

This side definitely needs archers

I'm feeling pretty pleased about how they came out. The oval hill has a minor warp, but not enough to be a nuisance once it's placed on the felt.

I think my next game will involve some very hilly terrain!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Painting Miscellany

I often have a few odd figures in progress on the bench. I'll poke away at them while waiting for the main project to be ready for the next step. But it's a good way to chip at the lead pile and do odd characters that you can't assembly line paint like a regiment of troops.

This 15mm Russian FOO team was put together from some of the extra bits that the Padre sent me.

I've been slowly putting paint to these Foundry medieval civilians and the Perry WotR gun and crew for some time now in between ancient Rome, Middle Earth and WW2. The gun I got two Hotleads ago. The villagers have been in the lead pile for at least a decade.

Finishing them has been waiting on the arrival of my order of very nice flower tufts from Shadows Edge.

They are about twice the price of the Army Painter tufts I've been using, but you get at least twice as much in the package and there is more variety of flower colours available. Plus they offer a variety of stem colours and stem heights.
Old man. "I'll show you how to kill a Frenchman laddie!"

The Miller


Courtly Lovers finally united


This was so much fun I dug out my other medieval civilians and gave them flowers too.

The big thing on the bench these past several weeks  (months?) has been another cohort of Late Roman auxiliaries for my friend. I've been neglecting the project recently and thought I'd better get a move on. The shields are using Little Big Man transfers.

As a hint to what else has been occupying my hobby mind lately, I'll leave you with this:

Of which, more anon.